Forsite Development to Acquire Two Consumers Energy Sites

JACKSON, Mich., April 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Consumers Energy has selected an experienced firm to demolish and redevelop two of its former coal-fired power plants.

Citing the successful track record of Forsite Development Inc. with repurposing industrial property, Consumers Energy tapped the North Carolina company to redevelop its 115-acre B.C. Cobb Generating Plant in Muskegon and 248-acre J.R. Whiting Generating Complex in Luna Pier, near Monroe.

Today, Consumers Energy filed a request with the Michigan Public Service Commission seeking approval to have Forsite acquire the two sites. The MPSC has up to 180 days to act on the request.  It is anticipated the sites will be demolished within two years of the transaction being finalized, pending a positive outcome with the MPSC review. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Consumers retired those two plants, comprised of five generating units and two other units, in April 2016.

Led by founder and President Tom McKittrick, Forsite was selected to acquire both sites on the strength of its plan to improve the properties and return them to productive use. Forsite’s initial vision for both sites includes plans to:

  • Convert the B.C. Cobb property into a deep-water marine terminal on the east end of Muskegon Lake for cross-lake shipping. Additionally, Forsite has begun working with Muskegon-area economic development officials to identify land for a sister industrial park designed to attract new industries that can take advantage of a cross-lake logistics route.
  • Develop the J.R. Whiting property into an inland intermodal terminal, offering rail-to-truck facilities utilizing the site’s extensive rail infrastructure. The site’s immediate access to I-75 and rail capabilities has potential to create spin off economic development opportunities, specifically heavy manufacturing and distribution.

“These properties powered homes and businesses for many decades, and we are pleased that they will generate new economic growth under the stewardship of Forsite,” said Dan Malone, senior vice president of energy resources for Consumers Energy. “We want to leave it better than we found it, and having Forsite, a successful redeveloper with a proven track record, acquire the sites will allow the communities of Muskegon and Luna Pier to see new life for these properties.”

Charlotte-based Forsite has already redeveloped more than 7 million square feet of facilities on 3,000+ acres over the past decade-and-a-half. Forsite’s projects have created or retained more than 1,000 jobs.

Forsite’s most prominent project was the adaptive re-use of a shuttered 667-acre dye manufacturing complex along the Catawba River in Charlotte, North Carolina, now known as ReVenture Park (www.reventurepark.com). ReVenture is now the thriving home of numerous sustainable and renewable energy companies.

For the B.C. Cobb site, McKittrick has selected Verplank Dock Co. to operate the port terminal and help develop the cross-lake deep-water shipping market.

For the J.R. Whiting site, McKittrick plans to begin marketing and pre-development activities for the intermodal terminal concurrent with demolishing the plant, which he expects will take two years.

“Both sites have the benefit of existing heavy infrastructure which we intend to repurpose in a manner to attract new industry,” said McKittrick, who founded Forsite in 2004. “We’re honored and humbled that Consumers Energy chose us to create a new use for these sites. We look forward to working with community leaders in Muskegon and Luna Pier.”

The board of directors of CMS Energy, the parent company of Consumers Energy, has approved the agreements with Forsite with the final transactions needing approval by the MPSC.

About Forsite Development
Tom McKittrick founded Charlotte-based Forsite Development, Inc. in 2004. The privately held firm has since redeveloped 7 million square feet of facilities on 3,000+ acres in North Carolina and South Carolina, and created or preserved more than 1,000 jobs. Its largest project is ReVenture Park in Charlotte, a 667-acre former brownfield Superfund site that is now home to a thriving collection of renewable energy companies and was named “Business Conservationist of the Year” for 2016 by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation.

About Consumers Energy
Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

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